BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European countries demanded more DNA testing of meat products and tougher labeling rules over a scandal involving horsemeat sold as beef that has shocked the public and raised concerns over the safety of the continent’s food supply chains.
Officials have said there is no risk to public health from the tainted foods. But the suspected fraud has caused particular outrage in Britain, where many view the idea of eating horsemeat with distaste, and exposed flawed food controls.
BRUSSELS/DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland said on Monday it would order Irish meat processors to carry out DNA tests to reassure consumers worried by the discovery of horsemeat in some beef products and called a meeting of European ministers to discuss a wider response.
The horsemeat scandal affecting a growing number of European countries began in Ireland after its food safety authority discovered horsemeat in frozen beef burgers.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – African and Western countries threw their support on Tuesday behind the idea of having United Nations peacekeepers eventually take over from an African force being deployed in Mali.
France sent troops to Mali last month to halt the advance of al Qaeda-affiliated militants who launched an offensive that threatened the capital Bamako.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Governments and international organizations meet on Tuesday to find ways to reinforce military gains against Islamist rebels in northern Mali by supporting democracy, economic development and human rights in one of the world’s poorest countries.
The rapid progress of French and Malian forces in driving the rebels from Mali’s main northern towns has put the diplomatic focus on how to ensure lasting security there and how to tackle poverty and political grievances that contributed to Mali’s instability.
MUNICH (Reuters) – Iran said on Sunday it was open to a U.S. offer of direct talks on its nuclear program and that six world powers had suggested a new round of nuclear negotiations this month, but without committing itself to either proposal.
Diplomatic efforts to resolve a dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, which Tehran says is peaceful but the West suspects is intended to give Iran the capability to build a nuclear bomb, have been all but deadlocked for years, while Iran has continued to announce advances in the program.
MUNICH, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Britain’s defence ministry,
casting about for possible savings in a time of austerity, is
looking into restructuring privately financed projects to take
advantage of lower interest rates, Defence Secretary Philip
Hammond said on Saturday.
The ministry has used private finance initiative (PFI)
schemes to fund projects ranging from a new fleet of aerial
refuelling planes to military housing. But some of the deals
have been criticised for saddling the government with long-term,
MUNICH (Reuters) – The United States is ready to hold direct talks with Iran if it is serious about negotiations, Vice President Joe Biden said on Saturday, backing bilateral contacts that many see as crucial to easing an international dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program.
Speaking at a security conference in Munich, Biden said Iran – which says it is enriching uranium for peaceful energy only – now faced “the most robust sanctions in history” meant to ensure it does not use its program to develop nuclear weapons.
BRUSSELS, Jan 31 (Reuters) – France’s need for U.S. help
during the Mali operation shows Europe must do more to fill
worrying gaps in its defences, NATO’s chief said on Thursday.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen also sounded the alarm about growing
disparities between what the United States and Europe spend on
defence and warned that NATO’s military power and global
influence could be put at risk if allies continue to slash their
defence budgets while emerging powers boost theirs.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO’s military power and global influence could be put at risk if allies continue to slash their defense budgets while emerging powers boost theirs, NATO’s chief will warn on Thursday.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen is also expected to warn in his annual report, due out later on Thursday, that too deep defense cuts could worsen the West’s economic crisis by weakening defense industries that are key drivers of innovation, jobs and exports.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union has a vital role to play in rebuilding Malian army that is badly paid, poorly equipped and seriously weakened by a year of defeats, the commander of a new EU military training mission said on Tuesday.
French General Francois Lecointre, speaking after an initial fact-finding trip to Mali, where troops are fighting with French help to push back Islamist rebels who occupied the north of the country, said the army there was in a “very broken-down” state.